Arguably the most famous product designer in the world. Philippe Starck’s journey to iconicism.
“Subversive, ethical, ecological, political, fun: this is how I see my duty as a creator.” Philippe Starck. Despite his thousands of projects – completed or in the making – his global fame and his tireless protean inventiveness, we must never forget the essential. Philippe Starck has a mission and a vision: creation, whatever shape it takes, must make life better for the largest number of people possible. Starck believes this highly poetic, political, rebellious, benevolent, pragmatic and subversive duty must be borne by all, and he resumes it with the humour that has accompanied his approach since the earliest days: “No one is obliged to be a genius, but everyone has to take part.”
His anticipatory concern for environmental implications, his profound comprehension of contemporary mutations, his enthusiasm for imagining new lifestyles, his determination to change the world, his devotion to a positive reduction, his love of ideas, his desire to defend the intelligence of usefulness – and the usefulness of intelligence – have accompanied one iconic creation after another… From everyday products such as furniture and lemon squeezers, to revolutionary mega-yachts, micro wind-turbines, electric cars, and hotels that aspire to be wondrous, stimulating and intensely vibrant places, Starck never ceases to push the boundaries and criteria of contemporary design.
A brief history of Philippe Starck:
Infographic by Kontenta, 2015. https://kontenta.co.uk/designroom/20-philippe-starck-facts/
Being the first to design a chair made from a single mould in polycarbonate (The Louis Ghost Chair)- now a commonplace manufacturing process- Philippe Starck has lead the way in furniture design for over a decade. More recently, Starck designed the Big Will, Zartan Basic, Zartan Eco, Zartan Raw, Stanley, Calippo, S.S.S.S. Sweet Stainless Steel Stool for furniture brand Magis. (Available from Estilo Commercial- Exclusive Magis Dealer for South Australia)
Big Will extending table marks a new chapter in a gripping story, in which the Magis philosophy and technology, with its friendly shapes and rigorous production, meets the creative spirit of Philippe Starck, design star of indisputable fame.
Big Will’s most striking and characterful features are its wheels – positioned at the extending end of the table – and the die-cast aluminium structure, which comes either in a glossy finish or painted white or black. The top is in glossy or acid- etched tempered glass, while the extension leaf is in glossy or matt finish MDF.
It measures 200 x 100 cm closed, but with two 50-cm extension leaves, it can reach a maximum overall length of three metres. The table can be extended effortlessly without needing to lift it, simply by gliding the extending end on the floor thanks to the two wheels, and to a patented sliding and locking mechanism developed especially for Big Will. Thus, this is an elegant, high-profile table, the fruit of several years of research to achieve that “more than” that Magis always seeks, as its very name reveals.
Zartan is a exceptional example of Starck’s concern for the environmental implications of his designs.
The name of this stackable chair is an anagram of Tarzan, as if to indicate a “return to nature” from Philippe Starck, the multifarious star and tireless innovator of contemporary design, assisted in this project by Eugeni Quitllet.
The frame of the Zartan Eco version is made of recycled polypropylene, with natural bres added, while the shell is in recycled polypropylene with jute or hemp, both compression- moulded: a perfect blend of technology and nature. Zartan Raw is made entirely of recycled polypropylene with wood fibres added and standard injection-moulded: a sustainable and durable mix. Zartan Basic maintains the same organic, friendly, comfortable shapes seen in the other two versions, and is made of polypropylene reinforced with fibreglass, in a range of colours: the ideal solution for outdoor use.